Cars are great when they run well and behave the way that you expect them to. It’s a different story when things go wrong. Manufacturer’s warranties typically cover new cars for faults. These warranties last anywhere between three to seven years. So are extended car warranties the answer to finding more peace of mind?
In short, it depends on the type of cover that you choose. Extended car warranties will lengthen your cover for vehicle faults. Other car warranties may include some maintenance and repairs, but not others. That’s why it’s essential to check your policy and choose the right car warranty for your specific needs.
It’s important to recognise that different makes and models have varying degrees of reliability. Some car manufacturers are notorious for recalling cars for faults and there’s bound to be some cars in a batch that leave production lines in less than acceptable conditions. Mercedes Benz, Volkswagen and Citroen had the highest number of European car recalls for faults in 2021.
Extended car warranties for new and used cars
It’s not just new cars that can come with warranties. Used cars can be sold while they’re still under the manufacturer’s warranty.
Dealers may also provide additional warranties for the used cars they sell. Typically, these last for three months or sometimes up to a year. Extended car warranties make sense if you intend to keep your car for a while and the manufacturer is less than 100% reliable with their vehicles.
Why choose to extend your car warranty
Whether you have a new or used car, extended car warranties can protect you from unexpected expenses. Sure, you’ll still need to pay for new tyres or regular servicing, but those are expected expenses and the chances are, you’ve budgeted for them.
Extended car warranties are there for the stomach-dropping, palm-tingling unexpected car expenses that threaten to swallow up the savings you put aside for that holiday in the sun. If you’ll struggle to cover the cost of something major going wrong, extended car warranties can be a good idea.
We say “can” because it depends on who you get your extended car warranty from and exactly what it covers. Extended car warranties are one contract you’ll want to take the time to read all of the small print on. Simply choosing the cheapest – or even the most expensive – warranty isn’t a good idea.
What is covered by extended car warranties?
Generally speaking, warranties won’t cover services, frictional, disposable or consumable parts on your car. In everyday terms, that means your yearly service, replacement tires, wiper blades, battery, clutch plates, wheels, air-con filters and exhaust systems aren’t covered in an extended warranty.
Although some parts aren’t covered, other crucial, and eye-wateringly expensive parts usually are covered. The engine, gearbox, electrics and steering should be covered by extended car warranties for unexpected failure. Some parts of the suspension are also covered, but not for wear and tear.
Not all extended car warranties are created equal and you should check and double-check details before signing any document. There are car warranty providers who will expect you to make a partial payment towards the repairs that they do cover. Others will have a sliding scale of cover that’s attached to the age of your vehicle or the mileage you cover.
Watch out for labour costs in extended car warranties too. Labour often costs more than the parts being replaced or repaired. The time a mechanic takes diagnosing your car’s problem can also get pricey. Some car warranties limit the amount of labour they cover. This limit can be per repair job or accumulative over the year.
As with any insurance you’re considering, it helps to know exactly what you’re paying for to avoid unpleasant surprises if you do need to claim. MotorEasy’s extended car warranties handle repairs for you and cover parts, labour and diagnostics up to the value of your car.
Average coverage you can expect
Just as extended car warranties come with varying levels of cover, so too do the prices for them vary. Many cars end up having faults by the manufacturer fixed for free – even when no warranty is in place.
Audi’s Q7 is a good example of this. Around half of these cars suffered faults, but all were fixed for free. Extended car warranties for a Q7 range between £475 to £1561 for an additional 12 months of warranty coverage.
On the other hand, BMW’s 3 Series vehicles saw 22% of cars sold turning up faults. The majority were fixed under warranty, but drivers without a warranty had to fork out an average of £1,500 or more for repairs!
Volkswagen Golf owners that pay to repair faults can expect their bills to average around £769, which is more than a 12-month extended car warranty. It’s a good idea to check out extended car warranties if you have a Golf.
At the end of the day, whether or not extended car warranties are the best choice for you comes down to how risk-averse you are. Plus, of course, your ability to pay for any unexpected work on your wheels. Even if you can cover the costs, no one wants to pay for faults that can be traced back to the manufacturer.
In some cases, manufacturers will foot the bill regardless of the existence of a warranty. In other cases, extended car warranties may cost you more than the cost of any repairs you could need. At OWO, we’d advise you to check any policy you might be considering carefully. It will also help to do a little research on the reliability ratings for the make and model of the car you’re considering covering. Then you’ll know if an extended warranty is right for you and your car.